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Re: Where do you draw the lines on hard/soft water

Hello Colin,

Your question "where does soft water end and hard water begin" can not
be answered, just like asking "where does short end and tall begin" does
not have a unique answer. We can agree what is short or what is tall,
but where does one draw the line?

Generally, water below 100 ppm hardness is considered "soft". (100 ppm =
about 5.5 odGH) Water up to about 300 ppm is considered "medium" and
anything higher is "hard" or very hard, if it is above 500 ppm. (In the
Southwest you can find "liquid rock" with over 1000 ppm hardness!) But
these definitions are only a guide -- you can make up your own scale to
suit your needs!

Water drawn in one place, can have a different chemical composition from
a water sample drawn in another part of the country, although both might
have, say, 300 ppm hardness. Hardness, as measured by the titration
method (adding reagent drop-by-drop until color change) refers to the
concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium salts, but says nothing
about *which* salts of these two elements are present. In some cases
that might be quite important.

You are absolutely right, that often having a relative answer is not
much help but, on the other side, when precise answer is not known, one
has to do with approximations.

My advice is find out how hard your water is (you do not mention it in
your letter -- your water company has that answer) and if it is not
extreme on either end, let it be! Relax, grow and breed what you can and
*enjoy* it!!



Date: Thu, 05 Nov 1998 16:56:12 PST
From: "Colin Anderson" <colin_d_anderson at hotmail_com>
Subject: Where do you draw the lines on hard/soft water

     A recent statement by Karen Randall has left me unable to go 
without a good answer to this question.  She said that Lilaeopsis was a
great substitute for gloss.. which was only good in the 'softer'
waters.  This is great information but to a relative newbie like myself
it leaves a gaping question!

     So, the question is what is considered the middle of the line, 4,
6, 8 degrees kh?  What would very hard be?  I've deduced extremely soft
may be 0 deg. - pretty good start isn't it!  

An important issue in this is not to have a relative answer.  A lot of
what I see on the list and even in books is relative(or severely biased)
to the region we live in.  Thus whats good for the goose of often not
good for the gander--that is without taking all factors into
consideration(something a newbie's not good at).

I'll gladly summarise everyone's 'votes' on this issue, the more 
responses I receive the better our averaging should be!

While I'm at it, I'd like to know just how dependable the kh/ph/co2
curve is.  I've seen disclaimers on FAQ's and articles citing test kit
accuracy, gh-kh relationships and other 'its tough to put your finger on
it' evidence.  

Does anyone have any resounding experience with the kH/pH/CO2 
curve--tales from the kH crypt?

Thanks in advance,

Colin Anderson